If Buzzfeed's to be believed, the High Line is apparently a source of conflict among New Yorkers. Truth be told, the first time I set foot on this aerial park built on abandoned rail tracks, I was underwhelmed. But to be fair, I lived two blocks away from Central Park back then and was spoiled with daily exposure to lush greenery, so it was tough to get excited over the few little shrubs that were just starting to grow on the railway. Through the years, however, I've grown to love the High Line. It's a treat to have this little bit of greensward in the middle of the city where one can sit, stroll, tan, and even enjoy an artisanal popsicle or a glass of wine. As the High Line continues to expand northward, its character just keeps on growing.
During my family's visit to New York last week, I took them to see this unusual little park. I had been wanting to check out the newest and northernmost part of the park since finding out that El Anatsui had an installation on one of the buildings flanking the old railway. If you remember, I fell in love with El Anatsui's work after seeing his exhibition Gravity and Grace at the Brooklyn Museum. This installation was just as breathtaking as his other monumental pieces. Dubbed Broken Bridge II, it is El Anatsui's largest installation to date. Sheets of pressed tin woven with mirrors hang off the side of a building, reflecting the surrounding area as it changes with the seasons. On the day of our visit, the glass seemed to melt into the impossibly blue skies over New York.
This part of the High Line has fantastic views of some choice urban art. The best of the lot were these vibrant murals by Eduardo Kobra on 25th Street. The top is a technicolor rendering of that iconic photograph of that iconic V-J Day kiss, while the bottom depicts a vintage Times Square street scene.
There's plenty of eye candy on this part of the High Line, from the art perched on the grounds to voyeuristic glimpses of the lives of New Yorkers in the buildings grazing the railway. Then there are those stunning views of the Empire State Building peeking through the greenery.
I thought the juxtaposition of that modern marvel against the Gothic structure of the Desmond Tutu Center was particularly lovely—echoing that wonderful melding of the old with the new that the High Line is known for.
I hope to squeeze in a few more stops at the High Line before the season ends. If you're ever in the city, ignore the arguing New Yorkers and see this unusual Big Apple gem for yourself.